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David Shear

  • 133
  • reviews
  • 3,112
  • helpful votes
  • 507
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  • McDowell

  • By: William H. Coles
  • Narrated by: William H. Coles
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

An admired and lauded surgeon climbs to the top of his profession. But his callous and questionably moral determination angers colleagues and friends who vow to destroy him. He becomes a member of the president's cabinet when a personal family tragedy presents him with a dilemma that leads to a felonious crime. When his world of wealth and privilege collapses, only time can reveal if he rebuilds his life to garner always-desired esteem.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Great

  • By David Shear on 04-28-18

Surprisingly Great

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-28-18

The book is built on questions about McDowell. Some of the questions are answered and some of them aren’t. It’s a masterful story about how a person’s life it affected by things that happen to them throughout their life. Can a person affect their own life and the outcome? How much of your life is affected by what you do versus what the world does to you?

I enjoyed most of the book. I was invested and couldn’t put the book down. I looked forward to getting to know McDowell and learning what happened to him. There were some parts of the story that I felt were flawed.

Some moments in the book were very abrupt. There were a couple of really big moments, really pivotal plot drivers in the book that were written in one sentence. That was jarring and left me as a reader wanting to know more. It pulled me out of the experience of enjoying the story. One spot that was wrapped up too quickly was a key section in the ending.

The other part of the book that was difficult was the first couple of chapters. The beginning of the story was rough. The introductions of the characters felt chaotic, it was difficult to follow. That is why I felt it was surprisingly great. After the first couple chapters of the book the writing smoothed out and I began to enjoy the story.

After a dubious beginning, however, I fell in love with McDowell. I cheered for him, I was sad for him, I was invested in him. The character development of McDowell was deep and complete, it was really well done.

The journey McDowell takes through the book was so interesting. You meet him as a father, a lover, a husband. He is flawed and real. As a reader, my feelings for him were complicated. Often in the book I disliked him and had no sympathy for him. As his journey progresses, he is effected. He changes and my feelings for him changed. That complexity comes from great writing.

The characters around him also are conflicted about him. Most of the additional characters are women. Some love him, some hate him, and in almost every relationship, their feelings evolve about McDowell. Some who loved him are burned by him and seek revenge. Others who are seeking revenge end up liking him.

The twists and turns of the plot are believable and addicting. The ending felt good. It felt appropriate for the characters. Other than a couple of flaws, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend McDowell to other readers.

Another reason I was suprised by how much I enjoyed this book was because the author is the narrator. Often, authors are terrible narrators, but in this case, the narration was awesome. It was one of the best parts of the experience.

Overall, I enjoyed and would recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The End of the World Running Club

  • By: Adrian J. Walker
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71

Edgar Hill is 35 and caught in his own headlock. Overweight slob, underperforming husband, and reluctant father - for Ed, the world may as well have already ended. So when it does end in a catastrophic asteroid strike and Edgar and his family find refuge in an Edinburgh army barracks, it comes as something of a relief. But nothing's ever that simple. Returning from a salvage run in the city, Edgar finds his family gone, taken to the south coast for evacuation by an international task force.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Book I've Listened to in a Long Time

  • By David Shear on 09-20-17

Best Book I've Listened to in a Long Time

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-20-17

The word that keeps coming to mind is "tight" when describing this book. There's nothing extra, there's nothing that makes you think "what? really?" there's only rare cliches. It's just great writing.
The story line is super creative. After reading the description and then meeting the main character, I couldn't wait to see what happened. The author does a great job of not having you like the main character necessarily, and maybe not even rooting for him, but I hung on every word and couldn't wait to see what happened.
The narrator was superb.
I highly recommend this book.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Vector

  • A Joe Rush Novel, Book 4
  • By: James Abel
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124

Joe Rush is at an Amazon gold rush to study new forms of malaria when his best friend and partner, Eddie Nakamura, disappears. Learning that many of the sick miners have also vanished, Rush begins a search for Eddie that takes him into the heart of darkness - where he must battle for his life and where he discovers a secret that may change the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beware! this book is hard to put down.

  • By tony on 07-31-17

Great Story as Always and Narration Perfection

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-31-17

I stopped what I was doing Tuesday morning when the 4th Joe Rush novel was released on Audible. I loved the first three novels.
James Abel is actually Joe Reiss and has written over 20 novels. I don't know why he chose to change his name for the Joe Rush novels, but the writing in these novels show that he's not new to the game.
Vector, as well as the rest of the Joe Rush novels, is smart and surprising and has fun twists that keep you interested until the last word.
Joe Rush is a reluctant hero who is forever getting in trouble with the establishment. He knows and speaks of his limits. He's just flawed enough to make him real and interesting and likable.
The bad guy in the story was believable and easy to hate. All of the character development was great.
The story and pace of action was fun. The ending drove right up to the last minutes of the book. I loved the ending.
Ray Porter as a narrator is so talented. I know these stories are better with him vs reading them as a traditional book.
I highly recommend Vector and all of the Joe Rush Novels.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Boy on the Bridge

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,246
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,104

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Bridge Worth Crossing

  • By John on 05-23-17

Best so far by Carey

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-05-17

Enjoyed this story from beginning to end. While his first novel "Girl with all the Gifts" was greatly celebrated, I didn't like it nearly as much as this one. The story-telling is mature, the main characters are complex and well-developed, the pace of the story is perfect.
The twists in this story are my favorite. They weren't forced, they didn't pull the main characters out of their nature. Instead, when a plot-twist happened, it deepened the understanding of the characters. While listening I would gasp and think "oh, of course." There were several genius moments that really drove the story and kept it interesting until the last word.
I usually hate epilogues, but this one was one of my favorite parts of the book. I can't stop thinking about it.
The outlying characters is what made this only a 4 star instead of a 5 star book for me. They were too dark, with no relief. There wasn't enough variety in the "extra" characters, they were a little one-note.
The narrator was perfect. I didn't notice Williams, she let the book and the characters shine through.
I recommend this book.

7 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly

  • Detective Sean Duffy, Book 6
  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,520
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,422

Belfast, 1988. A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave. Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing better than a Duffy tale!

  • By 6catz on 03-10-17

In Love

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-17

I love Sean Duffy, I was really looking forward to the release of this book, and he did not disappoint. The standout for me with this book over the others was how funny Duffy was. There were always a couple of chuckles previously, but I laughed out loud several times in during this story.
Duffy's character continues to grow and the characters around him have become deeper and more interesting.
The crime he was solving in this one had great twists without becoming muddled.
The narration is perfect. The accent is thick, and sounds authentic to me (not that I'm an expert), while I never have trouble understand what Doyle is saying. That's a rare balance of perfection.
I highly recommend this book. It would stand alone, but you will enjoy it more if you've listened to the entire series.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Truly Madly Guilty

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 17 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,656
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,992
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,956

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don't say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not quite enough

  • By David Shear on 07-29-16

Not quite enough

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-29-16

As many others, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the release of Moriarty's new book. "Big Little Lies" by her was in my top 10 books of all times.
With expectations high, this story was disappointing. 4 stars is generous. I would give it 3 1/2 stars if I could. I'm rating it four stars because Caroline Lee as the narrator is inspired. She is amazing. Her accents are fun and bring the characters to life, the emotion she brings added more to the story than was actually there.
Moriarty is a master at developing characters, but in this book, there wasn't enough of a story to carry the characters. The drama in this book was almost non-existent which left the characters not doing much at all. When they did respond to situations, they overreacted almost to the point of absurd.
The book in audio form made it entertaining. I enjoyed the listen. The story however left me wanting more.

70 of 83 people found this review helpful

  • The Light of the Fireflies

  • By: Paul Pen, Simon Bruni - translator
  • Narrated by: Scott Merriman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,573
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,418
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,422

For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns. He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone's been acting very strangely.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By David Shear on 04-11-16

Wow!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-11-16

This book is dark. I like dark and twisted, like Herman Koch and Chuck Palahniuk twisted, so I loved this book. Until the last word was spoken I didn't know how it would end. At the climax, I sat frozen for 45 minutes waiting to see what would happen. I was more invested in the characters than I even knew I was until the very end.
This book is sneaky that way. It's not just the actual story that is dark, but the writing is very stark in style, leaving you feeling empty somehow. For example, you never learn any of the characters' names. They are all referred to as how they relate to other members of the family (father, grandmother, the boy). Just that detail leaves you with a ominous, sad, trapped feeling. Paul Pen is an artist at evoking feelings as he draws you in to the story.
The narration was great in that I didn't notice Merriman at all. He faded into the background and let the story come through.
I wouldn't recommend this story to most of my friends and family. It will be loved though by those who want to be truly surprised and taken aback by a book, even if the surprises aren't pleasant.

69 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Fellside

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,958
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,953

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Almost Great

  • By David Shear on 04-08-16

Almost Great

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-16

90% of this book is great. The story of Jess and why she ends up in prison and everything she goes through along the way is great. The surrounding characters are good, maybe a little shallow, but still colorful and interesting. The story line is really great. I was on the edge of my seat until almost the very end, really fascinated by where the story was going to go--I couldn't even guess as to how it would end or what would be revealed.
Then there was 10% of the book that was so trite, predictable, and simplistic that it distracted from what could have been great. It was the way different parts of the story "wrapped-up" and not just the ending, but a couple times throughout the story as well. The messy craziness of an all female prison with "voices" is the very beauty of the story, so when this author wraps things up in such a cliche, overly-neat way, it distracts from the essence of the story and almost ruins it.
The narration was also not-great. She didn't change her tone of voice ever. The male and female characters all sounded the same, which actually wasn't too much of a problem. What was worse is the "hero" and the villains (and in a female prison you get mean villains) all had the same voice, which was distracting from the action in the story.
I would recommend this book. The reason I read reviews, especially for a 17 hour long audio book is to set my expectations, so that's what I'm doing here, is maybe helping set expectations. It's good, it's entertaining, but not great.

102 of 112 people found this review helpful

  • Finders Keepers

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,740
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,199

A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far - a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes. "Wake up, genius." So begins King's instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn't published a book for decades.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars for Will Patton reading Stephen King

  • By PlantCrone on 06-21-16

King is Masterful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-15

In this trilogy, King is lending his voice to the crime drama genre. Make no mistake, that's what this book is. It can be compared to Lee Child or James Lee Burke in content, but of course, handled masterfully, and uniquely by King. Is it sinister? Maybe. Horror or scary, no, not at all. But it's great.

Finders Keepers grabbed me right away. I love that about King. You don't have to wait three chapters for the action to start. He has a way of developing the characters through action, creating a fast-paced, hold-on-to-your-hat story.

There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the story that surprised me, which was great.
The way he connected this story to the first book in the trilogy was one of the twists for me and was super creative, I just loved it. He wove the familiar (characters from book one) with the new in a way that I've never experienced before.

The main characters Bellamy (bad guy) and Saubers (good kid) were well developed and totally believable. Their relationships were real, their response to what was happening was natural and believable. I bought it all. The writing was so smooth and so well done, I never once was pulled out of the story--it was totally engrossing.

The one criticism I have is that I felt like there wasn't enough of Bill Hodges. He was super interesting in book one and his character development didn't continue enough in this book. I wanted to reconnect with him and know him, and that didn't happen. To me, there was a little too much detail about Bellamy (bad guy) where there could have been a lot more about Hodges.

With that said though, the way the book ended left me hanging to the point where I will stalk Audible waiting for book 3, so maybe King told me just enough about Hodges to keep me coming back.

The ending of the book was really great and worthy of the rest of the story. Everything was just so natural and smooth, I'm running out of words to describe this book, I'll say it again, King is masterful.

Yes, I have a voice-crush on Will Patton. He can do no wrong and he was perfect here. Just perfect. People who read Finders Keepers instead of listen to it are missing out. It's better with Patton.

I highly recommend this book.

53 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • The Dismantling

  • A Novel
  • By: Brian DeLeeuw
  • Narrated by: Robbie Daymond
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 54

Twenty-five-year-old med school dropout Simon Worth is an organ broker, buying kidneys and livers from cash-strapped donors and selling them to recipients whose time on the waitlist is running out. When a seemingly straightforward liver transplant has an unexpectedly dangerous outcome, Simon finds himself on the run. In order to survive, he must put aside his better moral judgment and place his trust in a stranger who has a shocking secret.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Eloquent, gritty thriller. Terrific narration.

  • By M. Foster on 05-12-15

DeLeeuw needs to be discovered

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-15

The best thing about this book is that all of it was unexpected.
Based on the description, I thought I knew how the book would go, it didn't.
Based on the first chapter, I thought I knew how it would go, it didn't.
Based on 3/4 of the book, I thought I knew how it would end, it didn't.
But there also weren't shocking twists or disingenuous turns, just really, really smart writing that kept me on my toes and completely invested in everything that happened next.
I liked the book from the first few sentences. I was thrown in to the lives of the characters and was interested from the start.
I also loved the ending. I stopped and said "wait, what?" I was surprised that's how it ended, but it also seemed just right.
The character development was intense. The characters were all so perfectly flawed that they seemed like people I knew, they were very real.
The narration was great. Daymond's female voice may be the best on Audible.
DeLeeuw doesn't seem well known yet, I hope he is discovered. I will be watching for his next books.
I highly recommend this book.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful